“Tell us, Ooga, what does the boar’s liver say?”
Ooga, the tribe’s voodoo man poked through the boar’s liver with his finger and saw nothing unusual, nothing to even hint at the future. He knew his job, even his life was in jeopardy if he got one more prediction wrong.
Ooga had literally fallen backasswards into his job as voodoo man, when, after one sip too many of the wagawaga juice, Ooga had tripped, fallen backwards on to the old voodoo man, his predecessor, a very old, Bukug, who had died right under him. The tribe’s elders, determined that Bukug’s soul must have passed into Ooga, and they made him their new voodoo man.
Ooga had started well. Though he had no formal training in voodoo or reading animal entrails, he figured he would go with his gut and feel his way through his predictions and readings of omens. The wise village elders had declared him voodoo man, there must be voodoo inside him, Ooga reasoned.
His first reading of a lemur’s pancreas had been a great hit. Ooga had fondled the pancreas for a good five minutes before announcing that the rains would be especially bad this year and early.
And the rains were especially bad that year and early and thanks to Ooga’s accurate reading, the village had prepared for the rain’s early arrival by harvesting earlier.
After that, Ooga had gone on a hot streak, correctly predicting the bird poop that landed on Kleelee’s head meant that she was going to be the next in the tribe to get pregnant; and the flight of 3 ducks signaled tragedy was coming to the village. Sure enough, three days later, three men were run over by a bloat of hippotamuses.
But Ooga’s luck started to run out after the lightening bolt struck the center of the village, burning half the village down. Ooga had predicted mere minutes after the lightening strike that the lightening bolt would do great damage, but the tribesmen thought that the prediction was too little too late. In fact some in the tribe started whispering that perhaps Ooga was bad at voodoo because they had never seen him so much as put one pin into one voodoo doll, and a true voodoo man would have seen tragedy at the size of a lightening bolt coming.
A week after that, village warriors captured alive a warrior from an enemy tribe. They brought him back to the village to have Ooga perform some voodoo on him to get him to give up some secrets. Ooga got a voodoo doll and a pin and preceded to poke at the doll in front of the captured warrior, who complained of feeling a bit queasy. He then had the man drink a truth serum, which did nothing except get the captured warrior to ask for a second truth serum, for the first had been delicious.
Now the tribe needed to relocate cause the enemy warrior had escaped, and the tribe knew it was a matter of time before he returned with his whole army. Before leaving, they had sacrificed a boar and asked Ooga to look into its liver and tell them which direction to start.
“Well? What does the boar’s liver say?” asked, Zoogoo, the tribe’s chief.
Ooga took a deep breath, closed his eyes thinking he had a one in four chance of being right, swallowed and said: “West.”
“Then we will go East,” declared Zoogoo, leading his tribe right into an ambush. As Zoogoo was being stuck in the boiling cauldron, he wasn’t sure what was worse, the dying or the being told, ‘I told you so,’ by the village idiot.